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How-to use ThinkVantage Password Manager with Firefox 2.0

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Leikeze Ajnin
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How-to use ThinkVantage Password Manager with Firefox 2.0

#1 Post by Leikeze Ajnin » Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:05 pm

Edit Note: The solution below uses Client Security Solution (CSS) version 7. Also, I use the abbreviation TPM several times throughout the solution as an abbreviation for Thinkvantage Password Manager - I am not referring to the "trusted platform module", that is, the security chip itself, with that abbreviation, just the software password safe.

-----------------------------------------------

I recently got a ThinkPad T-60 with a fingerprint reader, and for no other reason than having it as a novelty I decided to set up the computer to use it. As you probably know, to use the TPM with Firefox 1.0 through 1.5, you need to manually install the extension file tvtpwm_moz_xpi.xpi from (I assume this is the default location) C:\Program Files\Lenovo\Client Security Solution. For Firefox 2.0, this failed at first, but I was able to determine that the plug-in can work in Firefox 2.0, and I thought I'd share how to do this.

If you are not used to working with XML, these steps may be daunting. Also, to the best of my knowledge this will only work under Windows versions of Firefox do to the nature of the extension.

*** DISCLAIMER ***
I am not responsible for any damages to your computer as a result of following this advice. I don't believe there will be any problems (or I wouldn't be using it myself), but in that unlikely event, you've been warned.

You will need:
  1. The most recent Client Security Solution package.
  2. A ZIP utility, such as 7-zip/WinZIP/WinRAR/WinACE/etc.
  3. Notepad
Steps:
  1. Make a backup copy of tvtpwm_moz_xpi.xpi (C:\Program Files\Lenovo\Client Security Solution); don't skip this step as it is the best way to undo changes, if you wish to.
  2. Open tvtpwm_moz_xpi.xpi in your ZIP utility. XPI files are ZIPs with "special" files for Mozilla to use to determine how to install an extension.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • Right-click on the file "install.rdf" and choose "Edit" if your ZIP utility supports editing files within archives; Notepad should launch as the editor.
    • Extract the file "install.rdf" and open it with Notepad or other text editor manually.
  4. Find the block of XML that looks like this:

    Code: Select all

    <!-- Firefox -->
    <em:targetApplication>
      <Description>
        <em:id>{ec8030f7-c20a-464f-9b0e-13a3a9e97384}</em:id>
        <em:minVersion>1.0</em:minVersion>
        <em:maxVersion>1.5+</em:maxVersion>
      </Description>
    </em:targetApplication>
  5. Change the the em:maxVersion value from 1.5+ to 2.0.0.*; here's the exact change I used:

    Code: Select all

    <!-- Firefox -->
    <em:targetApplication>
      <Description>
        <em:id>{ec8030f7-c20a-464f-9b0e-13a3a9e97384}</em:id>
        <em:minVersion>1.0</em:minVersion>
        <!-- HACK: Changed to 2.0.0.* from 1.5+ -->
        <em:maxVersion>2.0.0.*</em:maxVersion>
      </Description>
    </em:targetApplication>
  6. Save and exit Notepad (or whatever editor you used). If you opened the file for editing through the ZIP utility, it should prompt you to update the file inside the archive with the new changes. If you manually extracted and changed the file, you'll need to manually add and replace it in the archive.
  7. Open Firefox, choose "File -> Open File..." and choose the tvtpwm_moz_xpi.xpi that you modified. Tell Mozilla that you do indeed wish to install this extension once it enables the option, restart Firefox, and test it out. There will be a new option under tools called "Password Manager..." that will bring up the TPM window, as in IE.
  8. For best results, go to "Tools -> Options -> Security" and tell Firefox NOT to remember passwords; the TPM is independent of this option.
Hope this helps. I've used it for a few web site so far with the same results as using it in IE. Any web pages you set up the TPM to remember passwords for in IE should automatically work in Firefox, as it recognizes by web URL, and not by program in this case.

And no, I do not believe you can load up the extension for use in Thunderbird; I'm fairly certain the extension relies on web-browser features not found in Thunderbird.
Last edited by Leikeze Ajnin on Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
- Tim Healey

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#2 Post by mrjcleaver » Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:48 pm

Thanks Leikeze.

This worked for me.

Regards, Martin.
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#3 Post by masterus » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:53 am

Hi

Could you please upload tvtpwm_moz_xpi.xpi somewhere and give me location :?:
I can't find that file in my TP and I use Firefox.
I'd be gratefull for your help.

Regards
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#4 Post by icantux » Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:45 pm

Could you please post the version of CSS you're using this solution with?

Leikeze Ajnin
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#5 Post by Leikeze Ajnin » Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:36 pm

CSS 7
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#6 Post by Czechnology » Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:42 am

Version 8 already comes with this line in install.rdf:
<em:maxVersion>2.0+</em:maxVersion>

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#7 Post by Czechnology » Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:17 am

But I can't get it to work anyway :(

In the old version of CSS the dragging of the cursor somewhere at least seemed to work in FireFox (although not very well), now I can't get it to work with FireFox at all! I have installed the addon but that doesn't seem to make much difference... What do I have to do more??

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#8 Post by Leikeze Ajnin » Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:23 pm

I don't know. I haven't tried CSS 8 with Firefox 2 yet, and don't plan on doing so; I've actually removed CSS altogether a couple days ago. CSS 7 and Firefox 2 worked (for a given value of worked) with my solution described above, although I never tested HTTP-driven authentication with the password manager since I didn't have any web sites that used that system - other posts on these forums seem to suggest CSS and Firefox 1.5 didn't work well for that mechanism.

Since posting this solution, while I was still using CSS 7 with Firefox, I did notice a number of eccentricities that demonstrate the plugin with Firefox 2 is not the best of buddies. Some of these include:
  • Being asked to swipe finger multiple times for the same site. Got up to 20 one time trying to get into Hotmail - the processing to auto-fill and auto-submit is slow enough relative to my typing skills already, and 19 additional scans (all of which could be canceled without affecting authentication but still add to the time factor) just stretched things out.
  • Auto-submit seemed to be incompatible with certain web-sites for no explicable reason - auto submit would just cause the original login page to be reloaded, rather than jumping to the page defined by the 'action' parameter of the HTML form element.
  • CSS would get confused if I had tabs open, especially if I switched tabs while the login page was loading. Effects varied, but included multiple scans and/or failing to auto-fill any forms.
Considering how little security (e.g. none) CSS adds to Firefox, I decided that the fingerprint reader was certainly novel (and the novelty plus a boredom factor was the only reason I went out of my way to try to get it working in the first place) but I can type long passwords faster than it can process, without these issues.
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#9 Post by Zender » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:05 pm

May anyone be interested, I've modified the provided CSS plugin to act a different way. I'm pretty happy using Firefox's integrated password management, I believe it uses strong enough encryption, with master password set. So I let CSS only pop up when there's a master password request. I also use plugin "Master Password Timeout", which makes Firefox ask you for master password after specified time of inactivity.

http://www.pikachu.cz/ender/thinkfox.zip
Download this.

Take the original tvtpwm_moz_xpi.xpi, rename it to tvtpwm_moz_xpi.zip, uncompress and take folder "components" to the thinkfox.zip archive.
Rename thinkfox.zip (with the compoments folder added) to thinkfox.xpi and install in Firefox. Next time you enter master password, you should be asked by the Client Security Solution to save it. I recommend opening Advanced and selecting Secure, so that you're not asked just once per boot. If you change your master password, it should notice the old one was not accepted (not tested).
Let me know if it works for you.

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#10 Post by iminj » Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:12 am

Zender

Rename thinkfox.zip (with the compoments folder added) to thinkfox.xpi and install in Firefox.
I'd like to try this approach .. but I can't get past this step. After I rename the folder to thinkfox.xpi, how do I get it installed in Firefox?

In XP explorer, thinkfox.xpi looks like a folder, not an executable file. I tried dragging it into my ..\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\Extensions\ folder - but nothing happens after that. When I open Tools/Addons in Firefox, I don't see thinkfox there. (Obviously, I am missing a step somewhere.)

Thanks.
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#11 Post by Xavier » Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:39 am

In Firefox, you have to select File -> Open, and browse to the .xpi file :wink:
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#12 Post by iminj » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:21 am

Thanks Xavier:

I followed Zender's instructions and ended up with an archive folder called thinkfox.xpi.zip. Opening this from Firefox enables me to view the contents of the zip archive... it doesn't install anything.

Then I created another folder ... this time unzipped ... called "thinkpad.xpi. Same results when I open it from Firefox; it views the contents of the folder, but nothing else happens.

What step am I missing here .... ?
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#13 Post by Zender » Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:07 pm

Rename thinkfox.xpi.zip to thinkfox.xpi
Add-on installation packages for Firefox (.xpi) are just ZIP compressed files with a different extension.

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#14 Post by iminj » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:05 am

Thanks Zender:

OK ... I followed your instructions and I now have a zip archive on my desktop named thinkfox.xpi

(In explorer, I changed the name to thinkfox.xpi, ... Right Click > rename ..but I suspect it remains thinkfox.xpi.zip ... is this correct?) If it is wrong, please explain how you made the name change to remove the .zip (archived) properties.

Can you also please describe in detail how one installs this in Firefox?

Thanks!
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#15 Post by Zender » Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:00 pm

You have to open This Computer, from the menu select Tools->Folder Options, select tab View, and uncheck Hide the extension of known file types. Then you will see the real extension and should be able to rename it away.

I have been using a localized version of Windows ever since, so I'm just guessing the English names of the menu options etc, they might be a bit different, but should hint you enough to find the right ones.

I would have included the .dll in the archive, but I'm not sure it would be okay to redistribute it.

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#16 Post by iminj » Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:24 am

Thank you for your help Zender !

The xpi add-on works fine now in Firefox, and meets my needs perfectly. Nice job integrating Firefox passwords and the ThinkPad fingerprint scanner.

-iminj
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Thunderbird

#17 Post by wojtek_b » Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:51 am

I wonder, if the same would be possible with Thunderbird...

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#18 Post by rmendoza » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:24 pm

No dice.
I actually did this last year, in January, when PWM did not support firefox 2.0*, and it worked fine. But ever since PWM went up to 3.0, no luck. Firefox crashes everytime I click on a link or I open a new window.
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CSS Password Manager has stopped working

#19 Post by joelfisch » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:53 am

I have an X61, running CSS 8 and PW manager 2.0. It worked very nicely for many months but suddenly stopped working - I don't get prompts to set up new passwords, and sites with previously entered username/pw don't trigger the PW manager.

I spoke with IBM - they made what seemed like good suggestions. Uninstall CSS, go into BIOS and clear the TSP chip - reinstall CSS - all of which I did to no avail.

Then they said they cannot help me anymore but suggested I talk with their SW group that would help me "configure" the SW for which I would pay $100!

This was so disappointing. The ThinkVantage SW does not interface with the Thinkpad chip so I need to pay them? Just don't get it. Anyone have any ideas?
Joel

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CSS Password Manager has stopped working

#20 Post by joelfisch » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:27 am

Figured it out finally - in the CSS main console there is an option under the Advanced dropdown menu on the top to "reset security settings" that did the trick!
Joel

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#21 Post by jeronimoh » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:25 pm

Zender wrote:May anyone be interested, I've modified the provided CSS plugin to act a different way. I'm pretty happy using Firefox's integrated password management, I believe it uses strong enough encryption, with master password set. So I let CSS only pop up when there's a master password request. I also use plugin "Master Password Timeout", which makes Firefox ask you for master password after specified time of inactivity.

http://www.pikachu.cz/ender/thinkfox.zip
Download this.

Take the original tvtpwm_moz_xpi.xpi, rename it to tvtpwm_moz_xpi.zip, uncompress and take folder "components" to the thinkfox.zip archive.
Rename thinkfox.zip (with the compoments folder added) to thinkfox.xpi and install in Firefox. Next time you enter master password, you should be asked by the Client Security Solution to save it. I recommend opening Advanced and selecting Secure, so that you're not asked just once per boot. If you change your master password, it should notice the old one was not accepted (not tested).
Let me know if it works for you.
This is what I've been looking for! Made it work on FireFox 3.0.4 by editing the following line in the install.rdf file inside of thinkfox.zip:

Original:
<em:maxVersion>2.0+</em:maxVersion>

Changed to:
<em:maxVersion>3.0+</em:maxVersion>

Now when I launch FF, it just asks me for the master password, swipe my finger, and from there I just use the FF password manager, on which I have all my saved passwords!

THANKS ZENDER

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#22 Post by Radioguy » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:26 pm

You can also force an older extension to work via "Nightly Tester Tools", another extension available at addons.mozilla.
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